Best Practices for Wholesale Order Management: QuickBooks Sales Orders

order-managementAn efficient order management process in QuickBooks will make your life easier. If you are a wholesaler, manufacturer, importer, or distributor you can save time and money by developing a process that flows with QuickBooks instead of working against it. This means using sales orders. QuickBooks wants you to use sales orders for your wholesale customers (just click Home in QB and you’ll see the QuickBooks sales process begins with a sales order).

Sales orders are a commitment to ship something in the future, even if the future is the same day the order comes in. An invoice is a request for money after the order has been shipped. You can convert a sales order into an invoice with just a few clicks. The best flow for most wholesale businesses is to create the sales order, print a pick list and a packing slip for your shipping department (and/or a work order if you are a manufacturer), and then create the invoice after the order is fulfilled. If there are backorders on the sales order these items will automatically stay open after you invoice the items that did ship.

Backorders are a good thing

Some wholesalers are afraid of backorders. Why? Would you rather have a backorder or no order at all? For most business backorders are a good thing. A backorder is an opportunity to sell something in the future. A backorder is an opportunity to engage the customer and continue to build the relationship. When a customer places an order for something that is out of stock you have the opportunity to ask:

1. Would you like us to ship a partial (ship what we can now and fulfill the balance of the order in the future)?

Or, 2. Would you like us to ship complete (hold the order until the stock comes in and then ship the order complete)?

Or, 3. Would you like us to substitute an item that is in stock for the backordered item?

Sales orders in QuickBooks make it much more efficient to manage backorders

If you sell business to business and use QuickBooks, sales orders are one of the keys to efficient order management. Sales orders make it much easier to manage backorders and to plan your supply chain. There are a variety of reports in QuickBooks that are based on sales orders (sales order fulfillment worksheet), and the first custom (or memorized) report you should consider making is an ‘open sales orders by ship date’ report. This will allow you to see your entire sales backlog with the past due and/or problem orders at the top. These orders are probably the ones that need some troubleshooting. You can modify the ship date in QuickBooks to reflect the real ship date.

QuickBooks invoices and sales receipts both relieve inventory; sales orders do not. Sales receipts are commonly used by wholesalers who also sell B2C using an eCommerce shopping cart. Just like the paper receipt you receive in a brick-and-mortar retail store when you pay cash-and-carry, a sales receipt can be used when your B2C customer checks out online using their credit card (or gift card, PayPal, maybe even Bitcoin). They have paid up front, probably on the same day you ship, and the sales receipt acknowledges the payment and relieve inventory at the same time. If you are importing orders into QB from your shopping cart you should consider using sales receipts (the Now Commerce Order Bridge allows you to import batches of shopping cart orders as sales receipts).

With an efficient wholesale order management software your business can improve productivity and increase your bottomline. With sales orders templates in Quickbooks it is much easier to manage backorders and to plan your supply chain. The sales order templates utilized by quickbooks can be catered to fit both a B2B business and B2C businesses, making it very adaptable for any wholesale business model.

What has your experience been using quickbooks for invoices and sales receipts? Please feel free to share any comments, experiences, or helpful information pertaining to the use of quickbooks for order management. We also encourage you to learn more about how Now Commerce can help your business today! Just click on the link below and request a demo.

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Photocredit: Tom Hagerty via Flickr